Published: Saturday, Jan 19, 2013 Last modified: Monday, Apr 8, 2024


I’m too embarrassed to write this “statistics architecture” up on the Webconverger blog and this is too technical for Natalian.

After messing around with Anselm’s monitor rc scripts, fiddling with GNUplot, looking into statsd and graphite (v. scary) and watching metrics everywhere… I have a LOT to think about.

Of course I want to apply the suckless philosophy and cut through the crap.

Measure what?

I started with this faux problem of measuring my machine temperature, since this is related to Webconverger deployments, that require monitoring. Monitoring translates to business value, since this is what clients are prepared to pay for.

My “suckless” approach is to generate time series CSV rooted on epoch time.

*/5 * * * * echo $(date +%s) $(cat /proc/temp) | ssh server 'cat - >> /data/${id:-$SSH_CLIENT}/temp/$(date +%j).csv'

Over a ssh socket. Then on the server we either run GNUplot over the CSV or churn it in JSON and write put the data into a time series graph.

The problem with quirky GNUplot is that the Web output of a PNG or SVG can be difficult to explore or interact with. However it’s powerful, fast and plays well with shell.

Then again the JSON frontend is easier to write and interact with, but it can become pretty darn cumbersome.

This approach makes a number of assumptions about ssh and the frequency and such and so forth. And it lacks monitoring alerts. I’m not quite sure how to do that yet. Perhaps extra logic on the server, that filters new data and if something goes wrong, it sends an alert. My preference would probably be an email.

Please see for an implementation!